Indian Army’s intelligence spending in Kashmir is under scanner as the Army has raised the red flag on the spending of public money by a secretive military intelligence (MI) unit. The unit was set up by former Army Chief Gen V K Singh, contending that among other things, allocation of funds worth Rs 8 crore still needs to be accounted for.
“In a report on the functioning of the controversial Technical Support Division (TSD) that has been accused of conducting secret spying missions on government functionaries in the past, the Army HQ has informed the defence ministry that several discrepancies have come to light but the most serious charge pertains to unknown expenses of Rs 8 crore that were incurred by the unit for ‘operations’ in Kashmir,” reports a Delhi based newspaper.
As per the sources of newspaper, the detailed report has been submitted to the defence ministry, but the Army has not yet taken action as it is awaiting a nod before proceeding with framing of charges and fixing of accountability for losses incurred.
Besides recommending disbanding of the TSD and laying out standard operating procedures for raising any such units in the future, the Army has reportedly revealed that secret funds were used to purchase “bugs and other interception equipment without any proper selection procedure or maintaining of records.”
The special unit, which spent over Rs 20 crore in the two years that it was functional, has not been able to account for as much as Rs 8 crore. During investigations, it has come to light that the money was marked for operations in Kashmir but no record has been maintained. It is believed that a substantial part of these funds were given to an NGO named ‘YES Kashmir’ that had filed a petition in court against Gen Bikram Singh, the present Army Chief who was then the Eastern Army Commander and was in line to take charge after the retirement of Gen V K Singh. It has been alleged that the TSD was functioning as a “special task force” of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Secretariat.
While the report has been submitted to the defence ministry, but no move has been taken to expedite action against those who need to be held accountable. While as defence ministry has refused to comment on it.
Among other discrepancies, sources have said, “it has emerged that many purchases of bugging equipment were made without following procedures, vehicles that were being used by the TSD were shown as being with other units, vehicle movements were not noted as logs were not maintained and that no approvals exist on paper for setting up the unit.”